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Metascience

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 225–227 | Cite as

Building biophysics in China

Christine Yi Lai Luk: A history of biophysics in contemporary China. Dordrecht: Springer, 2015, xvii+90pp, $54.99 PB
  • Howard Chiang
Book Review
  • 106 Downloads

This book explores the history of biophysics in contemporary China from three particular angles: the early scientific work of Bei Shizhang (who is often lauded as the founding father of biophysics in China), the institutional infrastructure of biophysics, and the disciplinary origins of biophysics in China’s space program. As the selection of entry points makes readily apparent, this study builds on and extends a healthy body of literature in the history of science that considers the development of scientific disciplines in terms of social, political, and economic factors. Indeed, on the second page, Luk cites Robert Kohler as a pioneer of this historiographical approach and asserts her central thesis as follows: “the Chinese experience of building biophysics by launching rockets is one of the many ways that gives a concrete meaning to biophysics” (2). This approach, supported by a rich base of both published and archival sources, enables Luk to narrate a history of biophysics that is...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistoryUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK

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